Suicide a Social Phenomenon Renita McBath Sociology 100 University of Phoenix Dr. Leslie Brougham May 13, 2010 Suicide a Social Phenomenon Suicide has quickly become a social phenomenon. As much as this is hidden from news reports and other public media, this phenomenon is a reality. Here are a few startling statistics from 2005: Suicide is the eleventh leading cause of death for all Americans; Homicide ranks 13th. More people die from suicide than from homicide. Suicide is the third leading cause of death for young people aged 15-24 year olds (1st = accidents, 2nd = homicide). Suicide is the second leading cause of death for 25-34 year olds.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students. More males die from suicide than females (4 male deaths by suicide for each female death by suicide). (Caruso, 2005) To obtain accurate numbers for 2010 and understand why this has become an epidemic, research must be conducted. Possible methods could include conducting focus groups and interviews of key professionals that have come in direct contact with suicide victims and suicidal people. Key professionals could include emergency room physicians and paramedics, psychologists and psychiatrics, and genetic scientists.
Interviewing family members of suicide victims may not be as productive. Emergency Room Physicians and Paramedics This group could effectively contribute to research based on actual accounts of victims not just contemplating the action but actually taken the step to harm themselves. These professionals could possibly provide information from the victims prospective. If the victim survives or has last words, they may share their true feelings or explanations to the physician because of the nonbiased relationship; unlike sharing with a psychologist or family member.
Thus, revealing a more truthful or accurate amount of information into reasoning or causes of such actions. Paramedics actually have first knowledge of the scene in which they step into when picking the patients up from their homes or place of the suicide or suicide attempt. They can provide information about the person’s environment, reactions, and attitudes or comments from family members or neighbors. Oftentimes, if conscious, paramedics may talk to and comfort patients on the way to the hospital. This information could be crucial to understanding the emotional aspects of the actions.
If the victim did not make it, maybe there was a suicide that could provide insight. Here are examples of suicide notes left at the scene of the suicide: Single female, age 21 My dearest Andrew, It seems as if I have been spending all my life apologizing to you for things that happened whether they were my fault or not. I am enclosing your pin because I want you to think of what you took from me every time you see it. I don’t want you to think I would kill myself over you because you’re not worth any emotion at all.
It is what you cost me that hurt and nothing can replace it. (Kleiner) Married male, age 45 Dear Claudia, You win, I can’t take it any longer, I know you have been waiting for this to happen. I hope it makes you very happy, this is not an easy thing to do, but I’ve got to the point where there is nothing to live for, a little bit of kindness from you would of made everything so different, but all that ever interested you was the dollar. It is pretty hard for me to do anything when you are so greedy even with this house you couldn’t even be fair with that, ell it’s all yours now and you won’t have to see the Lawyer anymore. I wish you would you give my personal things to Danny, you couldn’t get much from selling them anyway, you still have my insurance, it isn’t much but it will be enough to take care of my debts and still have a few bucks left. You always told me that I was the one that made Sharon take her life, in fact you said I killed her, but you know down deep in your heart it was you that made her do what she did, and now you have two deaths to your credit, it should make you feel very proud.
Good By Kid P. S. Disregard all the mean things I’ve said in this letter, I have said a lot of things to you I didn’t really mean and I hope you get well and wish you the best of everything. Cathy — don’t come in. Call your mother, she will know what to do. Love Daddy Cathy don’t go in the bedroom. (Kleiner) These suicide notes left by the victims have so much information that give the reader a view into the reasoning of the decision they ultimately made to end their life. Psychologists and Psychiatrists (Therapists)
Psychologists or Psychiatrists (Therapists) may contribute to research based on sharing information obtained from confidential counseling of suicidal patients. This may not be the most accurate method because some patients may not always be truthful with their therapists. They may not be as affected by the elements that make them suicidal because of medication or denial. However, some information may be gathered from a therapist that can effectively read between the lines and get to the root of the problem. When someone is feeling angry or sad, there is always a root cause that may not be what the patient really thinks it is.
It may be something deep within their past that only a therapist could reveal and thus help them to figure what brings these feelings to the surface. Genetic Scientists “Twin and family studies suggest that suicide and suicide attempts are heritable traits and likely part of the same phenotype, with completed suicide and suicide attempts clustering in the same families,” (Nauert PhD, 2010) Genetic scientists believe that suicide can be hereditary. It is believed that certain genetics are associated to certain phenotypes, like impulse and aggression that could lead to suicidal thoughts.
Regarding gaining information for the topic this gives credence to the source. Research Method Now that it has been established how these particular professionals could be beneficial to research, the methods have to be established. A possible method could be to develop a focus group catered to each profession individually. Discussion questions would be the same for each group. This data could then be collected and analyzed. Charts could be made to view the differences between the groups. Further interviews of professionals could be conducted for more one on one research.
They may be able to share their research or relevant documents to justify the research. They may also agree to allow shadowing for the day and have a researcher join them to view the dynamics of their work and gather additional information not given in the interview or focus group. Conclusion Although this has become a social phenomenon, there are crucial steps and researches being conducted to better understand the reasoning associated to this behavior. Therapists, doctors, scientists and families are on the forefront of this epidemic and are determined to understand and better help society to experience a healing and change.
Life is precious and should not be wasted. Life has no limitations, except the ones you make. Les Brown References Caruso, K. (2005). Suicide Prevention, Awareness and Support. Retrieved May 12, 2010, from Suicide. Org: www. suicide. org/suicide-statistics. html Kleiner, A. (n. d. ). How not to commit suicide. Retrieved May 12, 2010, from Art Kleiner: Suicide: www. well. com/~art/suicidepge4. html Nauert PhD, R. (2010, February 10). Suicide Risk Among Depressed Influenced by Genetics. Retrieved May 12, 2010, from Psych Central: www. psyhcentral. com